We are all really, really busy these days. We hardly have time enough in the morning to put on flawless makeup and march into our offices like beauty queens. But who doesn’t want to look like a beauty queen, I sure do, and I am sure many of my dear readers also do…

I strongly believe in looking good.

As the great Elizabeth Arden had once quoted, “it is every woman’s birthright to look gorgeous”, and these days, when we are earning a fat paycheck, what’s wrong in pampering ourselves to some expensive cosmetics? Unfortunately most working women, can buy tons of make up and expensive cosmetics, but alas, they hardly get the time to wear all those lovely colors…

So here, I have tried giving some makeover tips, that can transform us into “almost Beauty queens”… remember I have used the term “almost”… so if you follow these simple tips, you’ll get that look, you’ll be intensely happy and it’ll be over in twenty minutes… so here we go…

There are two ways, you could read this article. One is just read the Steps (which are Bold and underlined, there are six of them) or read the entire article. If you follow just the six steps, you’ll have brilliant makeover in just twenty minutes…!!!

A clean skin… Makeup is like paint… just as a paint needs a fresh canvas, so does our cosmetics… before putting any sort of make up, make sure your skin is squeaky clean and of course well scrubbed Putting make up on a dirty skin is dangerous for the health of your skin.

STEP 1 : Wash your face with a gentle face wash or face scrub. Dab dry.

A splash of toner… A Toner or Astringent is a must product in any make up kit. They both are one and the same thing, there’s a little difference depending on the skin type. Its better to go for a Toner which is alcohol free. The most important use of a Toner, is self explanatory : it tones your skin, i.e. it closes open pores, thus tightening our skin.

STEP 2 : Use a ball of cotton. dab some toner/ astringent, and slowly dab your face and neck. It’ll give you a slight tingling sensation and you’ll be able to feel your pores closing. Avoid areas around eyes, strictly.

Foundation… Foundation is the basic to any skin care… a simple tip to choose a foundation suitable to one’s skin tone, is to match it to the color of your neckline. If your skin is very dry, try dabbing a bit of moisturizer on your face. Let the moisturizer be absorbed into your skin. Wait for 5-10 minutes before putting the foundation.

STEP 3 : The best foundation to use would be gel based. If you do not possess a gel or liquid based foundation, do not be hassled, a powder foundation would work just fine. If your skin is very dry or even moderately dry, the above procedure is required. Otherwise delicate lines begin to show up after the foundation is applied.

If you possess, normal to oily skin, you are good to go, after step 2.

While using foundation, I would recommend a foundation brush, but if you are in a hurry as most of the time we are, our palms do just fine. A small tip : whether you have normal, oily or dry skin, first dab a little bit moisturizer onto your palms, then dab in the foundation. using your palms as a palette, mix in the moisturizer and the foundation into a fine mix, and apply evenly all over your face and neck.

One important thing to bear in mind, is that while applying the foundation around your eye areas, please be a little careful. The area around your eyes is sensitive enough. Therefore while applying foundation, make sure you use only the first two fingers, i.e. the index finger and the middle to sweep gently under your eyes. Do not apply foundation on your eyebrows or eyelids.

The blush effect… Blushes have a very important role to play in your make up. It helps highlight your cheeks, and your jawbones to make your face look sculpted. Let’s face it people, not everyone of us, possess angular cheekbones and jaws, like that of Elizabeth Taylor, but you can make your’s look like that.

Like foundation, blushers, can come in powder or cream. The fundamental rule to buy a blush, is that, it should be one tone darker than your foundation.

STEP 4 : After applying the foundation, wait for 5 minutes for the skin to absorb the foundation. Now proceed to the blusher. Use a brush, (here I would not recommend using your palms) to dab some of the blusher onto the brush and pull your cheeks inwards, as if you are sucking onto something. This procedure exposes your cheekbones and jawbones. Now use the brush, in an upward sweep, from the fold that your cheeks make towards your eyes… apply just one coat first, and see if you need more.

A very important detail to keep in mind when applying make up is, less is the norm. Always apply less make up first, you can always add more.

Dark, kohl eyes… Now let’s come to the eyes. Who doesn’t love dark, kohl lined eyes ? I do for sure… Now eye make up is an art in itself and if one is aiming for a Twenty minute make up, they’ll have to do with just the kohl, the eyeliner and the mascara.

STEP 5 : Start with the Mascara first. Apply a coat on the upper eyelashes, drawing from inner to outer lashes. Make sure the edges are not smudged. First apply a coat on the upper layer of the upper eyelash, then go for the lower layer, so that the entire effect is dark and heavy. Never apply mascara on your lower eyelashes. Your eyes would look droopy and very “Ozzy Osbourn-nish”, I don’t think any sensible woman wants that.

Next take your eye liner and start from the inner corner of your eyes, following the shape of your eyes, draw a fine line towards the outer edge. This has to be done a bit carefully, and first timers need practice. Your line should not be so broad as to smudge your eyebrows, when you open your eyes, nor should be so fine, that it gets lost in the lashes. You have to maintain that fine balance.

Next come to the kohl. This is optional, since some people, like to stick with just the liner. You can also use your liner to great artistic effect, but since I prefer Kohl, because of its dark color, I would go with it. Anyways, both the processes are more or less same. Hold your eyes, as if you are wearing contacts, and then draw along the edge of your eyes, from the inner corner to the outer corner. Make sure that the middle part is dark in color. Put at least two coats of kohl or liner on your eyes.

To finish off, brush another coat of mascara in the same process as mentioned above.

Luscious Lips… Dark eyes and bright lips… what a glamorous combination.

I love lipsticks, be they be dark red, mahogany, pink, twilight, nude,brown… anything, I just love lipsticks… and I do believe most of you must also love it.

Of course when you are rushing to keep an appointment you cannot stand by and decide which color would suit the dress, rather you have any color on, and rush off to keep your appointment. Here’s a trick that I have. Always keep a standard color of lipstick in your makeup box. The color should be the one which looks good on your skin tone. It could be nude, or red or pink, or somewhere in-between , but it should suit you despite whatever clothes you are wearing Always buy two of this same shade and keep one in your bag, as in in your travelling bag, and the other in your cosmetics box. So when you are in a hurry, and have to dab something, this color will do just fine. When rushing somewhere always use that color, it will look good, despite the color of your dress.

STEP 6 : Take a pint size moisturizer on your index finger and gently rub it on your lips. Then take a lip liner, remember the liner should be at least a tone darker than your lipstick, and gently form the outline of your lips. Then fill in your lips with your lipstick.

A little tip, to make a lipstick look matte, even if its glossy, take a tissue, and press your lips upon it. It’ll work wonders.

All done, sprite some of your favorite perfume and do up your hair. Get your purse, snap on your watch and make sure you have your shades on, if its hot outside. And viola…!!! you are ready…

If you want to make this even shorter, you can skip Step 2 and 4… It will finish off the job earlier.